Presented on Thursday, November 30, 2006 in the Tifft Lounge on the Elmira College Campus. Mark Twain would have loved the internet - and probably lost a fortune when the dot.com bubble burst. Against the background of the ambivalent role advanced technology plays in Twain's life and art, we'll look hard at the online electronic archive "Mark Twain In His Times." Since it began ten years ago, 5,000,000 people have used it to study and teach Mark Twain's work. How does it work? What can putting Twain online reveal? What are the capabilities of electronic technology as a way to appreciate Twain's achievement and meanings?
Dr. Stephen Railton is Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Professor Railton has published numerous articles on American literature and has written two books, including Fenimore Cooper: A Study of His Imagination. He has also appeared on PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer as an expert on Mark Twain. Dr. Railton has also created two award-winning Web-based electronic archives, intended to explore the uses of electronic technology for teaching and studying American literature: "Mark Twain in His Times" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture," which one Gettysburg College's prestigious Lincoln Prize, awarded for the finest scholarship on Lincoln and the Civil War Era.